There is a popular question that has been circulating since the Jeep Gladiator was first unveiled. That question is, When will a diesel engine be made available for the popular truck? Pickup truck owners often tow. So, a diesel option, which is often more suitable for towing situations, has been on the Gladiator fans’ wish lists. Now we have an answer for those Gladiator fans.
2021 Jeep Gladiator orders are now being taken
The 2021 Jeep Gladiator sales books were opened on Friday, according to a press release from FCA, Jeep’s parent company. Among the engine options available for the pickup truck is that elusive diesel. Finally, a diesel Gladiator will soon be arriving at dealerships.
The EcoDiesel V6 specification
A 3.0-liter, water-cooled turbo, direct injection, EcoDiesel V6, has been available in the 2020 Jeep Wrangler. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator will now receive that same powerplant. The dual overhead camshaft engine is rated with an output of 260-horsepower and 442-lb. ft. of torque. It will all be mated to an eight-speed transmission. Engine start-stop (ESS) technology will be standard.
This Gladiator will have a DEF tank
The diesel-powered Gladiator engine will require diesel exhaust fluid (DEF fluid). A 5.1-gallon tank for the fluid is located behind the fuel tank. The refill location will be next to the fuel filler neck. DEF fluid refills can last up to 10,000 miles with a monitoring gauge located in the front instrument cluster.
Pricing for the 2021 diesel
Pricing was conspicuously absent from the press release. But, our friends at Motor1 have come across a leaked dealer order guide suggests that the diesel engine will bring with it a $4,000 premium. So, expect the base models equipped with that diesel to start near $39,000 and go up from there, depending on the truck’s trim levels.
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The Jeep Gladiator story
The Gladiator was made from 1962-1988. After a long hiatus, it returned in 2019 to much fanfare as a 2020 model year pickup truck. The rush by consumers to adopt one made it a hot commodity. Some dealerships were even charging markups as the first few models made it to local lots. The Jeep Gladiator was even voted the 2020 North American Truck of the Year by a panel of automotive journalists from media outlets in the United States and Canada. However, the honeymoon phase may have worn off. The once-hot Jeep has been selling at sticker price, or lower now depending on incentives from FCA.
Edmunds recently did a review of the Gladiator. They found the mid-size pickup to be a capable off-roader and liked that the truck is a convertible. But, they also found that its steering was vague and that the ride quality was not optimal. Actually, they said, “Ride quality can get jiggly at times.”
After years of waiting for a pickup, Jeep fans have one in the Gladiator. They also now have the ability to order a diesel optioned vehicle. Although the pricing may deter some, those interested in a pickup truck with real off-road prowess may overlook that. Additionally, the diesel option opens up the truck to a whole other sector of people looking through truckland. Those consumers will be happy that they can finally order their Jeep with that diesel starting immediately.